November 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
This semester we have utilized so many different library resources that I had no idea even existed. Through my research I have encountered so many different sources and have had to find new ways to organize all the information that I have been going through. Having to work on the preliminary research for my thesis this semester has challenged me to utilize this class in the most efficient and useful way as possible. Thus, working on my prospectus for my 103 has allowed me to utilize the different libraries and different sources that I was unaware of before this semester and this class.
Until a few weeks ago I had only encountered one secondary source on my topic and I was mainly using primary sources such as newspapers and legal journals to put together a historiography. However, having recently explained this dilemma to one of my professors, she sent me an email with a list of four secondary sources that I might find of some use. I spent the time off school over Thanksgiving “break” to read three of these books and thankfully, I have a much better sense of what my topic truly is and where my discourse can fit into the literature. One of the books I read this last week was The Day Care Ritual Abuse Moral Panic by Mary de Young. This book was published in 2004 and gives a really detailed understanding of the satanic aspect of this panic. De Young examines the “big cases” of the decade and puts the hysteria in perspective. What I found most useful about this book is De Young’s emphasis on the “cultural cauldron” of the 1980’s and her explanation of the societal stresses and strains of this decade set the stage for the day care panic that was to surface in 1983. The other book I read was Nursery Crimes: Sexual Abuse in Day Care by David Finkelhor, which was published in November 1988. This book was the product of a study that Finkelhor was contracted to do by the government to truly understand if day care centers were actually a high risk environment. Finkelhor describes a high-risk environment as an environment where the child is subject to treatment/abuse that they would not be subject to in their home. This of course ignores the knowledge that some children might also be suffering similar or worse abuse in their home environment. This book definitely gave a different perspective of these crimes since it was written in the decade and not in retrospect. De Young even addresses Nursery Crimes in her book and elucidates the flaws in the study but she also addresses the much needed knowledge that was a result of that study. These two books, among other sources, have certainly helped me formulate my prospectus for my 103 this semester and give me a better understanding as to what is missing in the literature and where my research can fit in.
November 13, 2012 § Leave a comment
This week I have been working a lot on my research as the end of the semester is coming near. Up until this point I have been facing difficulty in figuring out how I will organize the information that I gather for my larger 101 project without getting confused or lost; As of this week I have finally settled on a format. I believe that this semester has been incredibly useful in understanding the different resources that UC Berkeley has and has made me think about research in a different way. I have begun to enjoy the act of researching and I know that I will be utilizing my skills for the rest of my educational and professional career. I intend to go to Law School and eventually, practice law, and I know that researching is a huge component of being a lawyer. Whether researching for cases to use as evidence in court or researching to write articles in legal journals, I will most definitely make use of my research skills; I hope to add to the legal discourse to better inform society.
November 6, 2012 § Leave a comment
Throughout my research thus far I have been hoping to be able to utilize a source in the Media Resource Center, as I believe it would be interesting to include a media source. This week’s assignment was to find a film resource in the one of the collections and initially I was convinced that I would not be able to find anything truly related to my source. I was able to locate a documentary “Capturing the Friedman’s” which documents the sting operation, arrest and vilification of Arnold and Jesse Friedman on counts of child molestation and possession of child pornography. The Freidman’s, although they were actually guilty, were representative of the type of witch-hunt that would follow this sort of conviction of child abuse. Following the national day care sex crime panic of the 1980s, this case particularly incensed individuals because of the nature of the abuse. Though this content is outside of my temporal scope I have come across this documentary before in news articles and I would be incredibly interested in watching this.
October 30, 2012 § Leave a comment
When asked to find a visual/material resource related to our topic, I had no idea what sort of source I might use. Initially, I searched through the libraries Image and Sound Databases and I first went through AP images database trying to find something of relevancy. The search words I used were not giving me anything, until I came upon a picture of Margaret Kelly Michaels, who was a pre school teacher accused of abusing her students at Wee Care Day Nursery in New Jersey in 1987. It was interesting to see a picture of her, though this wasn’t really going to add anything to my research so I continued looking.
I continued to look through several databases until I came upon a news archive. I searched through the Vanderbilt Television News Archive and I came across ten different news clips/specials that pertained to my topic ranging from 1984-1989. Unfortunately only three were actually available to watch online. I watched a news segment in which Tom Brokaw discussed the recent challenges posed to day care centers as insurance premiums continued to rise and make it exceedingly expensive to open and operate a child day care center in light of the recent legal cases which had caused a wide spread panic. I found this clip (which was 28 minutes long) to be particularly fascinating and gave me a sense for how the television media was portraying this panic. I have already come across this “insurance crisis” in some of the newspapers that I have read but this gave me another take on the way individuals and the media were understanding and portraying this panic.
October 23, 2012 § 1 Comment
This week our assignment was to find an article or a source related to someone else’s project, and although I accidently completed this assignment last week I was determined to pick another topic this week. I must admit some of my classmates have incredibly specific and seemingly obscure topics of research but I decided to look into Ala’ Khan’s topic in which she is “exploring the nostalgia for Spanish heritage in Santa Barbara, California that does not take into account the layers Mexican/ indigenous heritage and Islamic/Moorish cultural influence.” I decided that I would search through some digital images and see if I might come across any interesting artifacts that might relate to her topic. I ended up on Calisphere and searched Santa Barbara. I limited my search to fiestas and found some interesting advertisements depicting various festivals. I then expanded my search again to include Santa Barbara architecture and I found so many fascinating pictures of different municipal buildings and local businesses. After getting a bit lost in all the amazing pictures I realized that I would have no way of determining if any of this would really be of importance to Ala’s research. However, I would suggest that if, Ala’ has not already gone through this database she should take a look. I found these pictures so intriguing and I do hope that something may be of significance.
October 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
Let’s try this again. So this week’s assignment was actually to track down newspaper articles, either on microfilm or in online databases. For my research I anticipate that I will be spending a lot of time in the microfilm library. However, since last weeks meeting I have begun to get familiar with our online databases. Since my topic is relatively recent, historically speaking, I have actually faced a difficult time finding newspaper articles in the Bay Area for the 1980s.
Using ProQuest I was able to find a lot of information from a national rather then local perspective, which is very helpful for background knowledge, and it has been helpful in gaining an understanding of how widespread of a crisis this day care sex crime “hysteria” was. The McMartin Case, which was the case that prompted this hysteria, was the most documented case that I came across. However in my reading I ran across a particularly interesting article published in 1988, about national insurance companies and the effects that this hysteria had on day care centers to get insurance coverage. The fact that this hysteria began to mark day care centers as high liability insurance clients, is particularly interesting and relevant and I would really like to delve more into the local perspective and if this had any real relevance in San Francisco. However the most exciting part of my findings, was that I also came across a mention of a day care center in San Francisco that was accused in committed a sex crime against a child in 1983 and I will definitely be looking more into that.
October 16, 2012 § 1 Comment
This week has been super hectic with midterms, research proposals due and life. Thankfully we did not have a reading to do but our assignment was to find an article related to someone else’s project. Since I personally am pretty interested in the Richmond, CA during WWII I went searching through OskiCat in order to locate something of relevance to Christina’s topic. I found an oral history conducted in which a man, Clifford Metz, discussed Richmond during WWII and the changes in the racial composition, local entertainment and the decline of the downtown area. This was part of a larger series of oral histories conducted in 1983 of the changes to the city of Richmond in response to the War years. This series, “On the Waterfront” was conducted with twenty-six families, in order to explore how attitudes, working conditions and society have changed since that important era in US. History. I found it particularly fascinating to read and may be of some interest.